WABI” was to have been my retirement boat and when she was ready for sea my plan was to take her on a shakedown cruise around Brittanny for the summer and then head south with an eventual destination in mind of New Zealand. That didn’t happen for the main reason that we bought a little cottage outright and i settled down a bit to have a go at being a vegetable gardener !. The first part of the plan did work though : one evening i realised that the boat was ready to sail, that there was enough kit, food and water on board so i just disconnected the shore lead, threw the lines off and left the yard.
WABI” was by then fully set up for offshore sailing and singlehanded passages so after leaving Plymouth i just set a downwind course to take me straight across channel aiming roughly at the Morlaix estuary. What i hadn’t realised was that there was a big leftover swell in the channel and that the light downwind sailing would be horribly uncomfortable rock and roll so after a few hours i just put her on the wind and in one tack made the entrance to Falmouth the next morning. After a bit of trouble in the Fal ( i managed to tear the genoa leech tape) and getting that repaired i left Falmouth a couple of days later in light wind again but much less swell and 42 hours later motored into the river at L-Aber Wrach. I have to say that after 42 hours my head was a bit fuzzy and having not been in there before i got a bit confused by the lights for a bit, had to back off from a position somewhere down near the main beacon but worked it out after a bit and settled to my anchor in one of the bays just to the west of the new marina for a very heavy sleep.
That became the start of a 6 week cruise around west and south Brittanny : i didn’t get as far as i wanted to which was la Trinite in Quiberon bay, the furthest i got was nearly up to Quimper in the Odet Fleuve above Benodet…..the Benodet river or Odet Fleuve is a lovely spot to anchor and relax.
Back to Aber Wrach though later in the trip and my partner joined me for the last 2 weeks by getting the Roscoff ferry and then a local train to Brest where i picked her up. Part of our cruise home was to go back to Aber Wrach but ignore the marina and instead go upriver to Port de Paluden and anchor in the pool just below the road bridge.
In the summer there are 3 visitors moorings but just after i had arrived there at the start of the cruise some local workmen came out in their boat and kind of indicated that they were lifting the moorings that day, even with my minimal French and their non-english it was clear what they needed to do and they kindly escorted me up to the trot moorings just downriver and got me tied up there…even gave me a lift back ashore. In several trips ashore to walk up to a nearby supermarket i kept taking a look at this boat alongside the quay and one evening summonned-up my super basic French to say hello and what a great looking boat he had.
I think he said that this is a wooden replica langoustier but built with a cabin locally, we did just about manage to talk about my boat too which he had also been admiring so we had a bit of cross channel and cross-language boat-bro admiration going for a bit.